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Todd Gurley has been a workhorse running back since coming into the NFL and taking over the starting job as a rookie. He’s been especially effective the last two seasons, touching the ball more than any other player in the league and gaining the most yards from scrimmage in the NFL.

That’s changed in 2019 with Gurley’s workload being reduced significantly. He’s still the starter for the Rams, but Los Angeles has been more pass-oriented on offense, and Gurley’s backups are getting more carries than ever before.

It’s the team’s way of keeping him healthy and fresh for not only the duration of this season, but the coming years. Finding a balance between Gurley, Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson has been a work in progress, and Sean McVay is still trying to figure out the best plan.

“In a lot of instances, how the flow of, ‘Are we getting plays off?’ You want to be able to get Todd in the rhythm of the game. I thought we were able to do that while still getting Darrell some touches. I thought that worked out pretty good for us,” McVay said on Thursday. “It’s something that, really, each of these seven games has kind of dictated different things. When you’re able to have some balance then you’d like to say, ‘Well, yeah you can naturally get Todd a little bit more involved.’ But you see him make some plays in the pass game.

“At the end of the day, what you’re saying is, you’ve got Todd, you’ve got Darrell – and then if Malcolm’s available – those are guys that you want to find a way to get involved and make sure they’re getting their work. Todd’s still our starter and those types of things. I think that balance is something that we’re kind of working through and figuring out what is the best formula for success for our team.”

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Having a wealth of talent at running back has complicated things a bit for McVay. Gurley has shown flashes of being the player he was the last two years, but he hasn’t broken off those big runs we’re used to seeing.

Henderson, on the other hand, has been explosive and shown why the Rams were so high on him heading into the 2019 draft. He has the potential to be a starter one day, but for now, he’s a nice complementary piece.

The Rams just have to find a way to balance all three of these backs in the best way possible that not only takes advantage of their individual skill sets, but also keeps the offense in rhythm.


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